Athlete chatter ahead of World Triathlon Chicago
From strategy to comebacks to career advice, the USA’s Hunter Kemper and Gwen Jorgensen, together with Great Britain’s Helen Jenkins and Spain’s Javier Gomez shared their thoughts ahead of the World Triathlon Chicago.
On training around the world
“I really like to look at it as an investment. I knew if I wanted to compete with the best in the world I needed to make this investment. I absolutely love it. I left the States in December, so this is the first time seeing my parents since Christmas. Those kinds of things are hard, but it is part of the job and it’s something that I’m willing to invest in.”
On going for a fifth Olympics
“I like to say I’m experienced. It’s fun racing along with such amazing athletes like Javier Gomez. I love the pursuit of excellence and trying to be at your best. I want to continue to break barriers and boundaries. I don’t know what my body can do at 38 (years old), I’m kinda learning. This sport is getting younger, it’s getting faster. These athletes make it look easy out there, but it’s not.
My life is a bit different now, but that pursuit of wanting to go back to Rio and make the Olympic team, and put on those American colors, I love it. My heart is bursting with American pride.”
On coming back from injury
“It’s really tough. Any athlete competing this weekend at such a high level, you put so much into your event. Going into London 2012 I put everything into it, it was all I thought about when I didn’t want to get up in the morning or when I was having a bad run session. But that’s sport. You really want to come back and have those good times again. Coming back and racing this year has been amazing, it’s why I love this sport.
On her race preparation
“It’s a really tough course with all the corners. We did a bit of preparation the last few weeks, just that short acceleration, the short power work. I haven’t focused specifically on it. Because it’s a series, I have seven other races to think about and I have Commonwealth Games in a few weeks, so you can’t put all the focus on one race.”
On race strategy
“It’s gong to be tough for sure. I dont know if its going to be good for the break away or for the chase with all the turns, but we will all start our run very tired. Obviously we are going to swim as hard as we can and go for a little break and work hard together to see if make it stick. I remember racing Hunter in Washington DC with five. It would be good to do that again on Sunday. But we’ll see, there are some strong cyclists like Tom Davidson, who has been changing the races a little bit recently. You have to be ready for anything”
On changing his training
“I have been training the way I’ve been training the last year. I was winning races in 2006, but I had to change it to keep racing in 2014. I’ve been focusing more on the run and got better training mates to train with. I’ve been swimming less that I did 10 years ago but still at a pretty good level. You need to adjust your training. I feel I’m still improving, especially my run and my consistency. I’m a bit older now and can enjoy more Olympic distances than sprint, and even 70.3. I want to try my best until Rio and hopefully be one of the guys fighting for a medal.”